Screen Time in Your Downtime: Smartphones for the Frequent Traveller

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We’ve all been there, stuck in a station, an airport lounge; flight cancelled, train delayed. So what do you do with your downtime? You turn to the modern commuter’s trusty companion – the smartphone.

The smartphone is a boon for the frequent traveller, allowing you to stay connected, work remotely, and keep in touch with colleagues, friends and family while you’re on the go.


Source: Pixabay

But with so many out there, how do you know which smartphone is right for you? Three of the most popular devices on the market right now are the Galaxy S8, the LG G6, and the OnePlus 5, and here we take a look at how they stack up.

Performance & Connectivity

If you travel a lot, then you’re probably a slave to your phone like the rest of us, racking up endless hours of FaceTime with clients, colleagues and loved-ones, playing Angry Birds until your thumbs bleed, or going head-to-head with the house in 200% bonus and free spin live-streamed casino games.

Whatever your preference, connectivity is king. LG’s latest model, the G6, offers a robust solution. This little gem is great for multi-tasking, switching seamlessly between games, apps and streams without compromising performance.

The Samsung S8 also ranks highly when it comes to performance, and as you’d expect from Samsung’s flagship phone it’s chock-full of all the latest connectivity specs; with dual-band 11ac, Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth 5.0 to name a few.

The OnePlus more than holds its own, and at a snip of the price of the S8, you’re definitely getting more bang for your buck.


Source: Pixabay

Battery Life

It’s the last thing you need, your portable pal sputtering its last while you’re trying desperately to send out that critical email, or worse, just about to decimate your high score on your favourite mobile game. So which of our featured devices holds the most juice?

The Galaxy S8 performs best in this category, lasting almost forty-eight hours on a full charge. By comparison, both the LG G6 and the OnePlus 5 last about a day with similar usage.

And what about charge time? If you’re lucky enough to find an outlet between your mad dash from the coffee shop to the train platform, time is always of the essence. Incredibly, it’s the OnePlus 5 that wins hands-down, sucking up a whopping 60% in just half an hour. The G6 isn’t far behind, hitting 50% in just 35 minutes. Surprisingly, it’s the Samsung that limps in last, with 40% from a thirty-minute charge.

As with all phones, the battery gets weaker the more you use it, and while Samsung claims that the S8’s new battery design will enable it to keep its capacity far longer than previous models, the jury’s still out.

If you really want to stave off the inevitable you can pick up a wireless charger from around £35. Pop one of these in your overnight bag and you’ll never drop off the grid again.


Source: Pixabay

Display

If you like to while away the hours catching up on your favourite HD TV shows, then the Galaxy S8 is ideal. with Samsung’s patented edge-screen technology and infinity display you’re getting a bigger screen than most, with an aspect ratio specifically tailored to video content. Add to that great contrast and colours and a pixel density of 570ppi, and those re-runs of the Walking Dead are really going to pop out of the screen.

And the LG isn’t far behind. Although the screen itself is slightly smaller – 5.7 inches compared to the S8’s 5.8 (6.2 on the S8 plus) – with a Quad HD display with a resolution of 2880 x 1440, the effect is truly impressive.

As for the OnePlus 5, with the smallest screen (5.5 inches) and no Quad HD display, it’s certainly the worst of the bunch. That said, the colours are still clear and bright, even in direct sunlight, and with a 16:9 aspect ratio you don’t see those annoying black bars like you do with some of the taller screens.

Accessories & Extras

When it comes to accessories and extras, the Samsung really stands out. The latest iteration, the S8, comes with DeX, a handy feature that enables you to use your phone like a PC. Great if you’re stuck in a hotel overnight with just your smartphone and a looming deadline. For around a £120 you can purchase a DeX docking station which seamlessly connects your phone to any computer.

It’s in the extras where the LG really lags behind the S8. For example, while the US version of the device supports wireless charging, the European and Korean versions do not. And while LG have a trick up their sleeve – claiming to be the first smartphone to support both Dolby Vision and HDR19, which would provide the kind of superior audio-visual experience so far only attainable with your smart TV – the technology is a long way off. Think HD ready TVs before HD was ever available.

And what about the OnePlus 5. Well, this plucky little underdog has finally run out of steam. With no waterproofing, Quad HD screen or wireless charging the OnePlus comes in a distant last. Yet just to be in the conversation with the likes of the S8 and the G6 is a testament to the strides the OnePlus has taken in the last couple of years.

The Verdict

If money’s no object, go for the Samsung S8. While the LG and the OnePlus are both fine devices, when it comes to raw power, functionality, speed and capacity, the S8 is in a class of its own.

Truly the traveller’s best friend.